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Community Public Art Guide: Making Murals, Mosaics, Sculptures, and Spaces

The Chicago Public Art Group calls their web-based Public Art Guide the most comprehensive manual for making public artworks through collaboration with community that has ever been produced. The website represents the collective experience of dozens of dedicated community public artists, working on hundreds of projects, with thousands of participants. www.cpag.net/guide/index.htm

For over three decades, Chicago Public Art Group has provided a site in which artists interested in creating significant public artworks with communities can come together to support and challenge each other in their work. With this website, we look forward to expanding this community of discourse to our colleagues in other places around the world.

The pages of the guide provide:

  • practical fundamentals for making technically sound murals, mosaics, sculptures, and spaces in collaborative settings.
  • information on organizing collective design processes.
  • analysis of the evolving aesthetic considerations in designing collaborative murals, mosaics, sculptures, and spaces.
  • suggestions for incorporating public art making into the school curriculum.
  • portfolios with project descriptions and images of over 100 significant community public art projects by Chicago artists.

In the Community Engagement Section, Gude and Pounds share a variety of techniques for planning and designing collaborative public art and reflect on the significance of this work in creating a functional, democratic society. Also included is a helpful outline, “Chicago Public Art Group’s Steps for Creating Community Designed Places.” The portfolios in this section represent a variety of complex community processes that resulted in unique, significant community landmarks.

There is also a helpful section on the all-important issue of “Getting the Funding” at www.cpag.net/guide/6/6_pages/6_3.htm, which outlines how you should think through the finances before spending the money.

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